Lil' Bush: Resident Of The United States: Season One
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James Teitelbaum (5th April 2008).
The Show

For the moment, Americans live in a society where we can still poke fun of, and express extreme fear and loathing of, our leaders. This is rather fortunate, because rather unfortunately, we are also living in a time when our so-called leaders are severely worthy of our scorn.

It seems to me that the only possible way for Americans to cope with the criminals who are running things right now are to line four of the worst perpetrators up in squat little bodies that look more or less like the kids on "South Park" (1997-Present) as animated by the creators of "Beavis and Butt-head" (1993-1997), and to subject them to situations appropriate to either of those cartoons, or perhaps to situations deemed too extreme and vulgar even for "South Park". Casting George W. Bush (Chris Parson), Condoleeza Rice (Kari Wahlgren), Dick Cheney (Donick Cary), and Donald Rumsfeld (Iggy Pop) as sub-mutant Peanuts-types who cluelessly wander around their neighborhood and schoolyard, haplessly finding all manner of trouble, is exactly what we need to either draw attention to our nation's problems, or to try to laugh at them. Or both. If possible.

I say 'try' because although the writing on "Lil' Bush" is borderline genius, with jokes and sight gags aplenty, the things that are being made fun of are depressing and tragic. The complete idiocy of George W. Bush, the five years, thousands of lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bogus war of terror, the bogus Patriot Act, the bogus no-bid contract that gives Cheney's company the right (and profit - at the taxpayer's expense) to rebuild Iraq as these same taxpayers also continue to pay for the bombing of Iraq, and the slow sinking of the American economy are all addressed in "Lil' Bush", mostly using schoolyard metaphor and thinly disguised kiddie situations to represent the real-life issues.

Occasionally, Democrats will show up as the schoolyard nemeses of Bush and his cronies; lil' Hillary (Kari Wajlgren), lil' Obama (Tim Meadows), lil' Al Gore (Chris Parson) and lil' John Kerry (Chris Parson) among others, show up, usually providing sharp contrast (and a clear bias on the part of the series creators) by speaking and acting rather sensibly.

The plot lines go beyond all reasonable limits of good taste and decency (just as Bush's policies have), and there is absolutely no limit to the depravity on display in "Lil' Bush." For example, lil' Cheney -- who is constantly biting the heads off of live animals and then gobbling down the remains -- ends up in a sexual situation with elderly (former first lady) Barbara Bush (Mara Cary), crawls up into her womb, and is stuck there.

I am not sure how the people who created this series got away with it, and I am not sure how Comedy Central was persuaded to show something this relentlessly antagonistic towards our own leaders -- unless of course the people at the network realize what most of the American public now realizes, which is that there is no level of scorn that is too intense to be directed towards the Bush regime, and no level of hell too deep for these people (lil' Cheney ends up there too). That our corrupt excuses for leaders are being lambasted in a mere cartoon is but the very beginning of the punishment that these people deserve, but at least this cartoon, exists.

Video

The six episodes on this DVD average 21:30 in length, and are presented in the 4:3 (1.33:1) television aspect ratio. The video is sharp, clean, and bright. The animation is fairly crude, with not a lot of motion, and reasonably basic character designs and backgrounds. The four main "lil'" characters are done in a slightly different style that the many guest stars, whom are usually rendered in a rather creepy manner that recalls what their likenesses might have looked like in turn of the (last) century political cartoons.

Audio

Audio is presented in the original television English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. Dialogue is mostly clear but does get mumbly or buried sometimes (and not just the mumbling lil' Cheney's lines). There is a song in each episode in which lil' Bush and his cronies tackle a different genre of music. See them as The Grateful Dead, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, as punks, and as gangsta rappers. The songs sound fine, but they occasionally need a small dose of the volume key on my remote; they could have been balanced a tad better with the spoken parts of the show.
There are no optional subtitles.

Extras

Paramount has released this first season along with extras that include episodic audio commentaries on all six episodes as well as celebrity
audio commentaries
, a bonus episode, a short featurette, interviews, table read footage, a series of quickies and bonus trailers. Below is a closer look at these supplements.

The disc includes audio commentary tracks on all six episodes by series director Jay Karas, writer Donick Cary, voice actor Dave Mitchell and supervising producer Opus Moreschi. The commentaries are done as an unstructured group conversation with the participants chiming in as the mood takes them with stories about the making of the show, the inspiration for the gags, and the current grim political climate.

Three bonus celebrity audio commentaries are included as well: Jerry Springer, Ralph Nader and Tucker Carlson each do a commentary. Nader, in particular, pulls no punches. This man hates Dubya, but then again, don't we all? Springer and Carlson also praise the scathing wit and barely-disguided truisms seen in the cartoon, although Springer is a little dull.

Next is a Never-Before-Seen bonus episode: "Walter Reed" which runs for 12 minutes 51 seconds. The writer and producer explain that this episode was made to use in place of the episode in which Dick Cheney dies, in the event that Dick Cheney ever actually died. Unfortunately, Dick Cheney is still alive, so this contingency episode was not needed. Lil' Bush (dressed like Angus Young from AC/DC) and his posse put on a rock show for some veterans (including Henry Rollins) at a dilapidated Walter Reed Hospital.

In "Behind the Scenes: Lil' George's White House Tour" featurette which runs for 1 minute 15 seconds, Lil' George gives a slideshow tour of the white House.

Interviews with the cast runs for 6 minutes 5 seconds and are video interviews with the creative team behind "Lil' Bush". Most of them seem to have been captured on the fly and the video quality is not very good (not that it matters much).

"Table Read" footage runs for 6 minutes and shows the cast rehearsing the "Hot Dog Day" episode.

Three Comedy Central Quickies are up next (each is a short clip from a Comedy Central show) and include:

- "Steven Colbert: Breasts" which runs for 1 minute 26 seconds.
- "South Park: Leprechaun" which runs for 2 minutes 36 seconds.
- "The Sarah Silverman Program: Date with God" which runs for 2 minutes 37 seconds.

Finally, a bonus trailer gallery includes:

- "The Best of the Colbert Report" which runs for 1 minute 30 seconds.
- "South Park: The Complete Tenth Season" which runs for 1 minute 20 seconds.
- "Drawn Together: Season Two" which runs for 1 minute 25 seconds.

Overall

The Show: B+ Video: A Audio: B Extras: B+ Overall: B

 


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